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|For NY Alumni, YU Homecoming Brings Back Fond Memories of Times When They too Went Home for Shabbos|
|Written by Eli Lebowicz|
|Monday, 19 September 2011|
Don’t worry. Security was given explicit orders not to check IDs.
On Sunday, September 18, Yeshiva University had its first ever homecoming. Most people were pretty confused when they heard about this happening at YU. It might be because YU doesn’t have the things normally associated with a homecoming, like a football team, or a co-ed campus, or dances, or school pride. However, despite the fact that nobody really knew what the hell it was, the event was a major success, mostly due to the fact that there was a block party; probably so the people in Belfer could get to meet the people in Furst.
The event was made under the pretense of bringing back alumni to the Wilf campus to “catch up with old friends and classmates.” Two alumni from the class of ’98 said, “Well, even though we live on the same block in Riverdale, we kind of just nod at each other in passing, which is a pretty common greeting at YU. But we decided to each take the twenty-minute drive from Riverdale and come back.”
There was a great deal of reminiscing done about hilarious class moments. One graduate from the ’79 class recalled a memory he certainly seemed to think was funny. He said, “So, one time in our Intro to Bible class, the professor said that there were only 23 books in Tanach, instead of 24. You probably had to be there, but trust me, it was hilarious.”
The homecoming had a Kollel Yom Rishon take place as well, for those people who didn’t get enough Sunday morning shiurim during their time at YU. Actual YU classes were also held. This way, alumni could see what it ’s like to be a YU student today, as well as, fulfill any core requirements that they had been lacking since their departure. These classes were filled to the brim, since, well, attendance was taken. An alumnus from the class of ’10 told us, “I still haven’t gotten my diploma yet, so it’s probably a good idea I went to a class. I just sat in the back playing games on Sporcle.” (Some things never change).
A graduate from the 1932 class mentioned how things were much different in his day. He said, “When I was here, women weren’t even allowed to read. And that’s the way we liked it. Now I’m hearing that there’s a women-run newspaper serving bacon?! Preposterous!”
But perhaps some of the most touching moments of nostalgia came when alumni from the tri-state area recalled their time spent in YU. They seemed to focus not on the necessary Monday-to-Thursday evening periods being in YU, but rather on the Friday afternoon close calls when they were barely able to find a ride back home for Shabbos. One Woodmere alumnus stated, “There were a couple Friday afternoons when I almost didn’t make it back it to the 5 towns. Those were tough weeks. Thankfully, I was able to catch the last ride out of the Heights in the nick of time.”
A Teaneck resident said through near tears, “Once I was trying to get home and the jitney wasn’t running. It was awful. Plus, I had my dirty laundry with me, so it was a really bad situation. Luckily, I managed to find a cab and made it home.”
One Lawrence man described his frequency of going home: “I would sometimes go back three times in one day, you know, because the food in the caf wasn’t too great.”
When I told each of these gentleman that I was from Chicago, meaning I needed to take a plane whenever I wanted to go home, I was greeted with the same response all three times: “So you need like a passport and a green card, right?”
The YU homecoming was a momentous, once-in-a-lifetime occasion, which will probably happen next year as well.